As has been widely reported, another county sheriff in Georgia has announced his office will not offer full cooperation with ICE on holding illegal aliens that land in his jail for other crimes.
Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards Jr. released a statement on Friday, April 13 that he is “discontinuing the practice of honoring ICE requests to detain persons after criminal charges or other holds are resolved.”
What we have not seen reported is that Sheriff Edwards is on the record as late as February enthusiastically expressing his support of immigration enforcement and opposition to sanctuary policies.
Edwards is a member of the board of the National Sheriffs’ Association. He was part of a group of sheriffs who met in February with President Donald Trump to discuss illegal immigration and sanctuary policies. He was rather effusive in his pro-enforcement position to the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal –
“I was very, very surprised when I was in a training [conference] this past week, and there was a federal magistrate judge that told us she had sentenced a person over 25 times, and that person has come back into our country,”
“My concern is, as a sheriff, if we are going to secure our homeland, it is going to be imperative that we build some type of border to prevent those that would do harm within our community, within our homeland,”
“When we have the sanctuary cities, that is going to be a breeding ground for those who come back that are undocumented, coming back into our community. That is why I am kind of concerned,”
Earlier this year, Edwards had convened a ‘Citizens Input Committee’ and charged them to consider community safety and provide policy recommendations that serve the best interests of the mostly liberal Athens-Clarke County, home of the University of Georgia.
In another victory for the many corporate-funded anti-borders groups that lobby in Georgia against immigration enforcement, Clarke County joins the cities of Atlanta, Decatur and Clarkston in rolling back policy offering protections for residents regarding immigration holds of criminal aliens.
Gang members released by local law enforcement
Sheriff Edwards did not comment on how his reversal in policy would effect gang activity in his county. According to federal authorities, Georgia is home to more illegal aliens than Arizona and has a growing gang problem.
The Center for Immigration Studies reports that “according to ICE statistics provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, over a nine-month period in FY2017, 142 gang members that ICE was seeking to deport were released by the local law enforcement agency instead of transferred to ICE custody.”
Athens/Clarke County is home to current Secretary of State and Republican candidate for governor, Brian Kemp, who has made criminal aliens and Georgia’s illegal immigration crisis a major part of his campaign.